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Standing Rock Sioux Tribe elects Archambault new chairman

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has a new chairman.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that unofficial results from Wednesday's tribal election show Dave Archambault II defeated Mike Faith, 1,038 to 907.

Archambault will replace longtime chairman Charles Murphy, who did not seek re-election. Murphy's current stint as tribal chairman began in 2009, and he previously served as chairman from 1983-93 and 1997-2005.

The preliminary results also showed Jesse McLaughlin was elected vice chairman over Sharon Two Bears, 1,337 to 585, and Adele White was elected tribal secretary over Katherine Bailey, 987 to 924.

The Standing Rock reservation straddles North Dakota and South Dakota.

Archambault said his plans for his four-year term as chairman center on uniting the tribe and preparing for coming cuts in funding from the federal government.

"If we can get unity, then we can start moving forward on different projects to help our tribe become more self-sufficient," he said.

Inauguration is scheduled for Oct. 9.

Archambault is director of the Tribal College Consortium for Developing Montana and North Dakota Workforce at United Tribes Technical College. His final day on the job is Oct. 4. Archambault also owns and runs Cannon Ball Pit Stop, a convenience store on the reservation.

Archambault plans to increase transparency in the tribal council's work, as well as help to increase workforce development and grassroots efforts within the tribe's districts.

Archambault 's sister, Jodi Gillette, is the senior policy adviser for Native American affairs for President Barack Obama. Gillette cannot work on issues related to Standing Rock, because of her status as a tribal member.

Archambault said the two siblings can, and do, bounce ideas off each other, and she may be able to guide him in the right direction.

The new chairman said he does not plan any major shake-ups of the tribal government, and he hopes to build on some of the current administration's successes. The tribe's court system is often referred to as one of the most successful tribal courts in the country because of the lack of tribal council interference in it.

"I don't plan on changing that," he said.